When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise: Blog https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog en-us (C) When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Sat, 14 May 2022 16:51:00 GMT Sat, 14 May 2022 16:51:00 GMT https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/img/s/v-12/u194568982-o227227708-50.jpg When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise: Blog https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog 80 120 It's All In The Details When Planning Your Photography Session https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2022/5/what-can-you-expect-when-planning-your-photography-session It’s all in the details do you sometimes wonder why everybody else’s photos always seem to look a little bit better, but you can’t really place why?


The same photographer, the same place, same scene, or backdrop but there’s just something that’s a little bit different and you’re just looking at it and you’re wondering why does my not look the same.


Fashion Model PhotographyFashion Model Photography

Well, it’s all in the small details. When you schedule your professional photography session you think I’m going to go get pictures taken. I’ll wear a nice outfit or I’m going to wear a nice jacket for my head shots maybe decide to include some props but it’s the fine details that sometimes we overlook that set the difference between nice photos and stunning photography.


Your photography session shouldn’t start the day before your session it should start a few weeks prior.

Here’s the Stages to Prepare for the Stunning Photography Session you are seeking.


Step 1


Book your When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise Photography Session! Easy Enough! Now you will complete your personal Client Questionnaire and I will begin planning your customized session. Each person/ family is different and each session I create is personalized to my client.



Step 2


Schedule an appointment with your favorite hair stylist for a cut, color, trim. Depending on your stylist you may need to do this 3-6 weeks out. The hair appointment should be about a week prior to your photography session. Freshly cut hair is not ideal so try not to have it any closer than 4-5 days prior to you session.


All you bearded gents make sure your beard is trim and neat. Try not to shave the day of your session but let the last shave be the night before. That helps reduce any redness or irritation from shaving.


If your pet is included in the photography session call the groomer it’s time for Fido to get a nice bath a few days before and a nail clipping.


Step 3 Clean Healthy SpaClean Healthy Spa

Hit the nail salon…. Yes, gentlemen this applies to you too! Freshly manicured nails may not stand out and be a focus, but poorly manicured nails stand out like a sore thumb… literally! 

While you are at the nail salon take care of any waxing that needs addressed. (Only need to worry about the waxing of what can be seen in a photograph.)

This appointment is best 1-3 days prior to your session. No waxing the day of!


Step 4

Consider adding Hair Stylist and a Make Up Artist to your session. I can connect you with Professional Hair Stylist and Make Up Artist to add that special pizzazz to your session. After all, if you plan to hang this family photo over the fireplace for the next 10 years you want to look your absolute best or if your headshots will be billboard size you want those finishing touches! Seriously, if you are taking the moment to make a memory value it. Does every session require this maybe not but consider your intended plan for the photos. It’s one of the questions on your Client Questionnaire so you already know the answer.


Step 5

Have FUN! Let me take you on your photography adventure and have fun. We will talk, we will laugh, you will forget we are taking photos at some points until maybe you see a flash!

Cherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachCherry Blossoms In Virginia BeachOn Location Photography Session at Red Wing Park Cherry Blossoms

When you are ready to look at your images come join me in the studio for your own personal viewing of all your wonderful stunning photos from your professional photography session or view them thru your private online gallery. 


As always YOU Make Me Happy When YOU Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography, Media, & Designs by Denise. Let me capture, create, and craft your moments into forever memories.


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Best best branding photographer Chesapeake best photographer in Chesapeake best photographer in Hampton Roads best photographer near me best photography studio in Hampton branding photographer near me Chesapeake Chesapeake photography studio child photographer family photographer near me Hampton Roads photographer headshot photographer near me headshots headshots for men infant photographer media pet photographer pet photographer near me photographer near me photographer" photography studio photography studio near me published photographer small business social social media content creator Virginia branding specialist https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2022/5/what-can-you-expect-when-planning-your-photography-session Sat, 14 May 2022 16:50:44 GMT
Creating Photography Memories of Your Pet https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2022/3/creating-photography-memories-of-your-pet Pets…. Dogs, Cats, Birds, Bunnies, Guinea Pigs, Snakes, Lizards, Rats oh my….. yes, even rats. Not all people are alike and not all pets are right for people but what is right is we all LOVE our pets. Whether they bark, meow, squeak, or slither they make us smile. They are our sunshine on a grey day. And PETS make When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise HAPPY any day. I am that crazy dog lady and maybe one cat away from Crazy Cat Lady! I love my pets. Often my daughters say I love my dogs more than them…. Ummmmm well…. okay maybe not more but definitely the same amount. Sorry Girls they don’t talk back!

Dog Photographer Black Labrador Headshot Black Labrador

That wet nose, those perky ears when you say their name….the toy they bring to you when you come home. They pull at your heart strings just looking at them. I warned you I am that crazy dog lady! But honestly pets add value to our life. They are good for our health, really, like just rubbing them for 15 minutes releases feel good hormones. They offer emotional support and can even help you stay physically health… how you say??? If you own a dog, you probably walk them at times and wait what…. That means you are walking. Now I know you do not take medical advise from your photographer so why am I over here talking about the health benefits of pets. You know what makes you smile, and I know how to capture them to keep those memories forever. The average dog is with us between 10-14 years. Our average life expectancy is 78 years, so we have many years to immortalize those pets of our life in memories.

Cat Nip Kitty Cat Photographer Cat Nip Kitty CatCat Photography

When my daughters were young our family dog passed away, my girls were 7 and 14 and now are 19 and 26. Still to this day they can tear up thinking of Abby. The impression of a pet is everlasting. Every year when I break out the Christmas ornaments, they both look at each dog and cat of their childhood in photos on the tree and tell a memory. These pets are our family. Often pets are the first experience we have with loss. Valuing the pet and capturing their face in professional photography from the puppy days to the senior age is a way to memorialize their importance to your family.  Adding those ornaments to the tree, creating calendars with your pet’s, hanging a beautiful print over the fireplace of Fido. Treasures for you and your family to look at while that precious pet is in your life and to honor after they are gone. Capturing your pet in a photograph making art for your home is my specialty. My love for pets does not stop at my own. I love your pets too and I love creating your memories of them for you. Let’s create a digital art image of your pet to add to your home décor from one of your favorite portraits.

IMG_3429Digital Art Print Black Dog Digital Art Print

I spend time volunteering at local animal shelters capturing photos of the homeless pets to assist in getting them their furever home. Let me create your pets’ memories in our premiere studio in Chesapeake and if you do not have a pet follow me! I share local homeless animals from shelters and rescues weekly.

 As always you make me happy when you choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise. They say a picture is worth a thousand words let me capture a thousand memories for you.

Cockapoo PuppyCockapoo PuppyDog Photographer in Chesapeake, Virginia Pet Photography Studio in Great Bridge

whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) pet photographer portrait photographer beach best Best Photog best photographer Chesapeake cat photographer near me cat photographs cat photography Chesapeake cat photographer Chesapeake dog photographer Chesapeake pet photographer Chesapeake photographer dog photo shoot dog photographer near me family with dog photos fine art photographer Hampton hampton roads cat photographer hampton roads dog photographer hampton roads pet photographer norfolk pet photographer near me pet pet photographer near me pets photographer photographer" Roads" shelter photographer studio photographer Virginia cat photographer Virginia dog photographer Virginia pet photographer Virginia photographer Virginia Photographer Art' https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2022/3/creating-photography-memories-of-your-pet Sat, 26 Mar 2022 21:15:29 GMT
Why Your Photographer Charges Their Prices https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/11/why-your-photographer-charges-their-prices I know boring stuff... Why someone charges their prices! Money is money and who really likes to part with their own $$$! I get it but the value of the why is the value the photographer values you. Say what? It all boils down to the CODB. What's CODB you ask? It's their Cost of Doing Business. Yes we all know everyone does a job to make some money but sometimes in art and creating people do not realize the actual cost that goes into being that artist. 

Bryant & TigerTiger nd Baby Sailing the Ocean

Being a photographer is just buying a camera, taking pictures, then giving me those pictures and BOOM that's all. So once the photographer pays for that camera...okay and maybe some extra lens... a few lights.... a backdrop or two and some props here and there they are done. So WHY should they charge sooooo much when heck they've been doing it long enough to already pay for the stuff they have.  IMG_7616Digital Media ImageDigital Media Nikon Photographer


Boy do I wish that was all it was BUT there is so much more! The first most valuable expense that truly shows your photographer values you is they are insured! That means every month they are paying for insurance to cover their equipment and general liability insurance. So without once session ...one dollar coming in they are spending money to value their clients and protect their clients memories. So okay 1 expense that doesn't explain these $$$ they charge. Next you know those images you love.... well storage of them is NOT free. Monthly subscriptions to storage, editing and professional resources are a monthly expense again NO matter how many sessions they have in a month this is an ongoing every month expense. The only way for your images to be available, edited, and saved for any period of time involves MONTHLY ongoing fees. No matter if they are a natural light photographer only working on location or a photographer with a studio and monthly rental or ownership fees they MUST incur these monthly professional fees. That is if they are a Professional Photographer. Now there are many people with a camera collecting fees from people that do NOT incur these fees but they also aren't Professional. They probably are not licensed, not insured and not a true Professional. You want your doctor to have that license and insurance right? So why wouldn't you want your Professional Photographer!


Now on to the next part of the cost.... So we talked about the FEES... now those all important digital images. Some photographers do not give an option to buy AT ALL while some offer them but the cost may seem much to someone that doesn't think about what they are receiving. Photography is art.... a true photography enables many factors that most people would not notice but lighting, composition, the subject  and everything in the detail of a photograph is the art of photography. A photograph tells a story. With every client I ask for a Client Questionnaire this is to assist in the telling of your story. The detail in your session is a part of the professional process of telling your story. Creativity and imagination for telling your story goes into your photographs. So how much is that worth? If you receive the digital file from a photographer you are receiving a piece of art. Art cost money. So while you can purchases a copy of the print for less the actual piece of art of the digital file allows you to continue to reproduce the photograph so it will have a higher value which results in a higher fee. Advanced post production often adds more to the fee. I say if an image takes a trip to Photoshop then it now is valued more. This is an extensive process .... and nothing that is extensive is easy. This type of post production is extremely time consuming and has a higher value. Editing vs. Advanced Post Production Editing is a entire blog topic! 


So the next time you think WOW why is that so much remember you are the art the photographer is capturing and it's not going to cost "your arm or your leg" because well your photographer can't pay with your arm or your leg to get their groceries or pay the mortgage but they value you and we hope you value the art we are creating!

QuinnQuinnChildhood Beach Scene

As always YOU make ME HAPPY when YOU choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise!



whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) digital Media Brand photographer Branding Specialist Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer childhood clients coastal Virginia Digital family happiness life life's moments memories moments photo Photographer photography Photoshop summer Virginia https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/11/why-your-photographer-charges-their-prices Wed, 10 Nov 2021 13:30:00 GMT
Holiday Portrait Preparation in 3 Easy Steps https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/11/holiday-portrait-preparation-in-3-easy-steps Preparing for your Holiday Portrait Session


1. Arrive 5-10 minutes early... this gives you plenty of time for last minute issues that may arise. 

No need to be too early you want everyone to be fresh and ready.

Holiday 1Holiday 1Family Photo Card


2. What to Wear.....this can be really stressful for some but DON'T STRESS! When picking out outfits,

pick out the outfit for the most difficult person to dress first & then plan everyone else's outfit around theirs. 

Plan like it one person's outfit.

Too many patterns can be too busy for the eyes but still let it be an expression of YOUR FAMILY!

Check out my Color Palette guide to help you style your family. 

For extended large family sessions dress each family group in their own color or color palette. 

If you have any questions or need guidance that's what I am here for please ask!

Holiday 11Holiday 11Family Tree Farm Holiday Session


3. Don't stress...

laughing+ loving+ calm = BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!

Not every beautiful photo is cheesy smiles...

in fact the ones that are often the most touching are those natural looks. 

So don't point at the camera to get your little one looking then all we have are fingers pointing!

I may have a little pocket of treats to hand out to age appropriate children

but if you prefer me not to, just let me know. 

Remember if you are not in the picture and are helping to make the children smile or a pet look make sure to  stand nice and close to the camera .... right behind me is the best!

And don't leave the pets at home! If you want to include your pets, dogs or cats let's talk we can capture your family including the furry ones!

Holiday 13Holiday 13Pitbull with floral crown Holiday Photo


After your session your gallery will be available for gallery purchases 2-3 weeks from your session. If you are interested in a RUSH please reach out to have a RUSH payment added.


And don’t forget to order you holiday cards…. Check out our custom card creations or choose option thru your gallery shop.



~Denise, When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise


Don't Forget to Like & Follow

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for upcoming events and specials!



whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Brand photographer Branding Specialist Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer childhood clients coastal Virginia dog dog friendly family generational photography happiness life life's moments memories moments pet pets photo Photographer photography Virginia https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/11/holiday-portrait-preparation-in-3-easy-steps Thu, 04 Nov 2021 01:04:32 GMT
The Value of Generational Photography Sessions https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/9/the-value-of-generational-photography-sessions DSC_0207Family Family where life begins and love never ends.

We all know the more people involved in anything the more stressful the planning can be! As a KISS (Keep It Simple Sweetie) kind of girl, I am the first to shy away from the big plan of getting the entire family, the his… the hers…the theirs….the thems…the everybody…. all together for that BIG production of an event with one exception…….. a portrait! The generational portrait is one big production that the benefit and value outweigh the stress and complication. And what if the stress and complication vanished and all that remained was this big 16X20 Canvas of the entire family … laughing … all together … and having fun? Sound impossible? Well, it’s not and the value is immeasurable. 

So, what’s stopping you?

The where? 

The when? 

The what? 

The who? 

The how to? 

Enter …. ME!

Let me guide your family thru the process. From the color scheme to the laughs, let me take you to the immeasurable portrait in every family members’ home. This treasure isn’t just for the family of today either it’s a legacy for generations to come.  


As a memory maker, I value photos of the past possibly more than the ones in the moment. A photos power stops time. It allows for the viewer to go to that moment to react and take in the details of that second in time. Who hasn’t looked at a family photo and said oh my goodness look what dad was wearing or can you believe how small I was now I’m 6’ 7”…. all my clients just chuckled as they envisioned me on my stool all 5 feet three quarters of an inch of me! A generational photo allows future generations to take in the culture, the fashion, and trends of the time as well as see their family.  I know you all love that feeling you get when you see that Facebook memory or TimeHop reminder come up from 5 years or 10 years ago. Sometimes just looking thru a photo album … (hopefully you still put your photos in albums) can remind you of Grandma’s perfume or Grandpa’s cologne. It’s amazing how the brain works! A photograph can literally trigger the 5 senses of a memory. 

DSC_0780-18Grandparents are a delightful blend of laughter, caring deeds, wonderful stories, and love.


Now I’ve convinced you …. What next? 

Step 1 Let’s chat

Step 2 Contact the family! Put that Family Group Messenger in action. AND don't forget the PETS! Schedule the date. 

PRO TIP… if little ones are involved consider nap times, if pets are involved take them for a walk before to get their energy out. 

Step 3 Check out the color palette guide. The last thing you want is everyone wearing clashing clothing! šŸ¤£ Consider having each smaller family group wearing their own color. Of course you can go with neutrals tans, white,  grey & black to show cohesiveness. But don’t be afraid of adding color and complimenting colors to show the personality in your family dynamic. You can even have family shirts made. Whatever choice you make I am here for guidance along the way so the end result is valued by all. 

Step 4 HAVE FUN! I know I know we all want that perfection but remember some of the most perfect photos are the authentic in the moment ones where you aren’t trying so hard.

So RELAX … laugh a little and have fun! 

DSC_6748Pets are Family tooTime Spent Together Creates Memories


As always YOU make me Happy when YOU choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise 

whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer childhood clients dog family generational photography generations grandparents Grandparent's Day happiness life life's moments memories moments photo Photographer photography https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/9/the-value-of-generational-photography-sessions Fri, 10 Sep 2021 14:19:32 GMT
Tips & Tricks for Capturing that First Day of School https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/8/tips-tricks-for-capturing-that-first-day-of-school Calling all MOM-arazzi's & DAD-arazzi's!!!

They are already starting whether it's the College Students heading into their dorms or Pre-K thru Seniors our social media feeds are filling with those soooo important 1st Day of School Pictures!  We all know how much we treasure looking back on those first day of school pictures but we really realize how much we love them when we don’t get to take them anymore. 

So here’s a few tips and tricks to capture those moments and make the memories of your child’s school career! Because before you know it those 12+ years will be gone. 

  1.  For little ones maybe have them sit on a step or lean against a wall. This helps the antsy moves and any first day nerves. BONUS… stairs   are a great place to pop a sign up with all their first day stats! Looking for a sign, check out this  Chalkboard Back to School StatsDon’t fear the close up! Have them sit down and prop their hands under their chin and look up at you! First Day of SchoolFirst Day of SchoolFirst Day of School Photo
  2. Now you don't just have to focus on that crazy hectic morning. Make it a full day theme and snap candid pictures from the clothes laid out to the goodnight kiss! Sometimes the best moments you capture are the candid ones where you aren’t saying say Cheese….PRO TIP…. stop saying cheese! šŸ˜† it actually makes the face unflattering in lots of cases. 
  3. Don’t think the front door is the only place … Use a tree, garden  or florals to spruce up the scene. Make sure to put the sun behind your child if you don’t have a shaded spot. No one wants squinty eyes or worse yet a child yelling the sun is in my eyes. 
  4. If taking inside shots try to position by a window or with a doorway. This allows for natural light.
  5. Get some Props! Get a Custom Sign or try a little nostalgia and each year have your child hold their first first day picture and watch that growth from the first year to the twelfth year. Wanna try something so fun, grab an Adult Sized Shirt with their Class of and each year let them grow into it! 
  6. No one says mom, dad or the siblings can’t crash the 1st day picture party so grab a selfie when you have a silly moment. and bring in the whole family or some of their friends at the bus stop. DON"T forget the pets!
  7. School PhotosSchool Photos Don’t just put them up on social media and let them fade away in the virtual world print one from every year and display them BONUS you now have your first decoration for their Graduation Party!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Last HAVE FUN with it! Last year we became Empty Nesters … insert crocodile tears….while it was a super emotional moment seeing my baby leave nest and head to college I played it up big getting her sister to take some silly pictures of us to make the transition a little more   of a laughable moment! So grab that BYE BYE sign or bottle of wine and make those moments laughable.   Empty NestersEmpty Nesters

    Now there’s always a moment we want captured by a professional. If you want some Back To School professional images Let's Chat! If you are homeschooling or looking for a little more in those school pictures this year we can create some wonderful memories for all ages. And don’t forgot those Senior Experiences. From the Snappy Quick to the Paparazzi Package When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise can create those Senior Moments tailored to your Senior.

         As always you make me happy for choosing When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise !


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) 1st Back Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer childhood Children clients Day dog family happiness Kids life life's moments Make Memories moments pet photo Photographer Photography Photos Pictures School Tips to Tricks Virginia https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/8/tips-tricks-for-capturing-that-first-day-of-school Tue, 17 Aug 2021 20:00:00 GMT
Rainy Day Photo Memory Activities for Summer https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/7/rainy-day-photo-memory-activities-for-summer You are my Sunshine When Skies Are Grey!

If you have been keeping up with our Blogs you already know the Story behind When Skies Are Grey Photography By Denise but if not check out What's In A Name to get the story! Now we all know every day can't be sunshine and honey so when those grey days arrive get those photos from your Summer Photography Series and you can turn your day into rainbows! A rainbow makes you smile and so do your summer photo memories!

One thing I love is CRAFTING! I craft images when I capture them but I also love crafting protects too so in this weeks blog I'm taking my two loves, photography & crafting and creating a Rainy Day Smile!


Here are 3 Ideas for a Rainy Day to make you smile when the skies are grey by looking at your Summer Memories. 

1. Photo Book 

Head over to Amazon for the Our Adventure Photo Book the day before you know it's going to be a wash out. It's a One Day Delivery so with Prime you will have it the NEXT day. Take those prints and start gluing them to the pages and write a little or a lot about what that picture means to you or how you got it and where it was. Don't have time to get that photo book ordered? Get acid free photo safe paper cut the paper to the size of your choice, I would do 6x6. Punch two holes in the side of your choice. Get some string or twine and viola you just make your own DIY Photo Book now just start journaling and gluing to create your own personal memory book.

Pro Tip: Use Photo Safe Pens! I am that crazy pen girl so check out one of my favorites Clickart Journaling Pens

DSC_9975Photo Book Summer Photo Memory Book

Who doesn't love a month of their photo memories? Especially of your DOG! 


2. Mason Jar Photo Magnets

This one is a great Rainy Day DIY that not only serves as a memory maker but you could make this as a gift for family & friends. Christmas in July Crafting!!! Knock out that Christmas shopping list, create a rainy day activity and make memories all in one….. that’s a WIN WIN WIN!



Use the lid insert to trace a circle onto your photo if using mason jar lids, then cut it out. Glue the insert to the inside of the lid ring. Be careful… HOT Glue is HOT… I burn myself every time! Don’t be me. Glue the photo to the inside of the lid. If you wanted to make your photo pop out a bit more, you could also trace and cut out a piece of thick cardboard to glue behind the photo. Glue a magnet to the back of your frame. Voila! This would be a wonderful gift idea, too. Maybe for Daddy’s office, or Grandma and Grandpa’s fridge! (Remember DIY Christmas in July means less to do in December!)

PRO TIP: Use MPIX for your photo printing. Check out our upcoming blog on why to use a professional lab not the local drugstore.


DSC_9981Gorilla Glue Hot Glue SticksGorilla Glue Hot Glue All Temerature Sticks for DIY Projects 3. So did you say Denise I’m not crafty … I don’t know or do DIY! Well then grab the SD card or your phone and let’s create a digital album or even better a Photo Book with MPIX Photo Book. Sit back with your photos digitally and let the lab guide you thru creating your very own custom photo book of all your Summer Memories.


Okay now you have your Summer Photo Memories printed and made into a keepsake. Now it’s time to take more!

Looking to capture a special moment Let’s Chat!


As always You Make Me HAPPY When YOU Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) book Brand photographer Branding Specialist bucket list Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer clients coastal Virginia day DIY family Glue happiness Hot Jar life life's moments Mason memories moments nature nature photography Parks Photo Photographer photography projects rainy summer summer series https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/7/rainy-day-photo-memory-activities-for-summer Tue, 20 Jul 2021 14:48:39 GMT
Location.. Location..Location.. How to select your location for your photo session in Hampton Roads https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/7/location-location-location-how-do-you-select-the-best-place-for-your-session Location location location …. It’s like being the prime real estate agent in the 757 area! Sometimes you might think how in the world does my photographer decide where to hold sessions it’s not as hard as you think but there are a few things that you may not be thinking of when you contact your photographer and want to schedule a session at a particular spot. Let’s take a walk through some of the wonderful Coastal Virginia locations in the lovely Hampton Roads cities, perfect for your family photography, your business and personal branding and just for fun memories. 


We all love the idea that we live close to the beach however sometimes the beach just isn’t the best place to find your session for the day. Beaches are crowded ,the sand is hot, and sometimes there’s no shade for that prime part of the day that you have for your family to get their photo moments. So you need to think about a few other places that you can maybe catch those moments and memories or your business branding so that you can accommodate for that hot hot sand full sun kind of day. Hmmmmm…. But where? Isn’t it funny how the brain works sometimes just when you need a plethora of options you can’t think of even one! That’s where your photographer’s expertise comes in. Professional photographers consider lighting, walking distance, climate, temperatures, they are like a meteorologist/ artist rolled into one.

Falling Leaves FriendsFalling Leaves FriendsOak Grove Lake Park, Chesapeake, Virginia Best Friends Fall Fun Session

Down the rabbit hole we will go and start in Chesapeake just because they have several parks that are wonderful for family photography, your business branding, and for just those all around fun sessions. One of my favorite fun sessions are best friend sessions. You can grab those over at Oak Grove Lake Park in the fall and it’s wonderful. You can play in the leaves or maybe check out Chesapeake Arboretum one of my favorite trees is located right there when you enter the park. These are great places to go for middle of the day sessions. They have a little bit of shade, it’s not dealing with hot sand and it also is free to use. Yes!!!! there are some parks in our area that your photographer is required to pay a usage fee or pay to use; therefore, if you’re trying to get your family photos on more of a budget using those places and locations that do not charge your photographer is probably your wisest choice. 

DSC_6527-3Ft. Monroe Hampton, Virginia Branding Photography Hampton, Virginia

Now let’s take a trip across the water and head through one of those tunnels and get over to Fort Monroe. Yeah, it’s a beach and you can go out on the beach if you want but one of the great things about Fort Monroe is it offers many different textures and feels to give your portrait session a wonderful historic look. A beautiful gazebo adorns the grounds, the waters of the Chesapeake Bay in the background and you don’t even have to truck through the sand to get that water shot.

DSC_6618Neon District Norfolk, VirginiaCity Vibe Branding Photography in Norfolk, Virginia

Now let’s head over to Norfolk and the Vibe district in Virginia Beach to get more of a city feel. We have a beach here a beach there everywhere beach but sometimes you just want that city look!  Norfolk offers The Pagoda Garden and the Neon district which extends great images for your photography session and if you’re looking for a little bit more of those art murals Virginia Beach has a great opportunity in the Vibe District. So here we walked 4 of the 7 cities of the Hampton Roads area that offer great locations for your family photography, business branding & headshots, or just for a fun day to get photos done.


Some other things to consider when scheduling your family or branding photography is time a day. Different locations have different opportunities for those times so if you’re heading out to the beach we definitely want to get that early early morning or that Golden Hour  in the evening when the sun is going down. If you’re heading into one of the parks in Chesapeake you can probably find some shade and get a session anytime of the day to accommodate your family or your business schedule, same goes with the city shots. Often you can find great locations that offer a little bit of shade so you don’t the heat of the sun beating down on you. 


Now there are also some great opportunities for portrait sessions that come with an additional usage fee. If you’re looking to add a little bit of extra $$$ to your portrait session places like Botanical Gardens in Norfolk, Greenbrier Farms in Chesapeake, and several others offer so many acres of wonderful photo opportunities; however, there is a professional photography usage fee so you want to include that in your budget when you’re planning out your session. Your photographer is responsible for paying that fee so you want to expect that to be included in your price. We’ll visit the topic of why your photographer charges what they charge another day!

DSC_9515Sunflower Mini Session Goldpetal Farms Virginia Beach Sunflower photography sessions in Virginia Beach

Now if you are looking for that wonderful beach location there are several wonderful Hideaway getaways that When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise can accommodate that are less crowded, with not so much hot sand and can even offer a little bit of shade but I’m not telling anybody where they are you’ll have to schedule your session to get that inside info!


When you’re ready to get that photography session scheduled give me a call, send me a text, or hit me up with an email LET'S CHAT!. Be sure to check out my color palettes styling guidance as well as my private client closet full of tutus, dresses, bowties, jewelry and everything to spiff you up for that wonderful session that you have planned! And don’t forget the dog! We offer a full closet of props & accessories for your pampered pooch too! Many locations mentioned are all pet friendly so we can include your family pet in your sessions or even your branding session. Whether you’re looking for Maternity, Holiday Family Photos, Branding Your Business and social media photography marketing strategies we can include all the props and everything you want in your session.

DSC_9531Pet Friendly Parks and Places in Virginia BeachPet Portrait Photography Sessions in Virginia Beach

As always YOU make ME happy when you choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise!


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Brand photographer Branding Specialist Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer childhood clients coastal Virginia dog dog friendly family happiness life life's moments memories moments nature photography pet photo Photographer photography https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/7/location-location-location-how-do-you-select-the-best-place-for-your-session Thu, 08 Jul 2021 18:06:17 GMT
Summer Bucket List .... What's on Your List? Here's 10 Things to Check Out in Coastal Virginia https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/6/summer-bucket-list-whats-on-your-list-here-s-10-things-to-check-out-in-coastal-virginia It's the First Day of Summer.... YAY!!!! The countdown is on to get as much fun in the sun and enjoy! While Summer itself can be defined as either meteorological summer versus astronomical summer most of us think of summer as the time between when school ends and school begins. Whether we are the parent, the child, or the teacher, that moment the last bell rings and the buses leave the ramp signifies a plethora of emotions and an internal clock countdown! As a mom, I constantly thought about how am I going to fill the days with memories without the big prep it takes to accomplish big huge moments. So little trips and events filled our days and even now that my girls are grown we still find these summer fun activities a nice addition to our summer.  We all know the beach, Busch Gardens, or Ocean Breeze may fall on that Summer Bucket List but what about some hidden gems or some things to take in out of the normal summer plans.  So here, I’ll share 10 activities to add to your Summer Bucket List, getting out to enjoy our LONG LONG days of Summer! And these will not take a day of planning and a full day of activity, you can accomplish most of them in just a couple of hours so plan one for each week of the summer to battle the boredom busters!


10 Things to do in Coastal Virginia for Summer

  1. Blueberry Picking at Cullipher Farms ....nestled in the rural beauty of Pungo. Cullipher has u-pick offerings all year but Summer offers a little time to turn those fingers blue…. Well purple actually and pick some fresh blueberries for yummy blueberry parfaits, shakes, pies and to top on that oh so yummy ice cream! Doesn’t ice cream just taste 1000 times better in Summer!


  1. Sunflower Fields at Goldpetal Farms, Greenbrier Farms and more…. While the weather and deer’s can change the season for Sunflowers when you have a chance to pick these majestic queens you GO! Coastal Virginia offers several opportunities from June to September to pick some Sunflowers or just walk thru and enjoy the scenes and see pollinators at work in full force.

DSC_3109Sunflower In Chesapeake, VirginiaGreenbrier Farms Sunflower Field

  1. Peach Picking at Mount Pleasant Farms….Mt. Pleasant Farms in Rural Chesapeake has a win win …. You can pick some peaches and makes my most favorite grilled peaches to place on a scoop of vanilla ice cream… yum yum… I can almost taste it right now! While you are there you can see goats, chickens, horses and more! Pick up some local honey from the Country Store and walk next store for an extra treat Bergey’s Breadbasket for more animals and yummy treats. And grab some blackberries while you are there!

DSC_6307-2Fun with Goats Girl with Goat at Mount Pleasant Farm

I mean who doesn't like making friends with goats! 


  1. The Virginia Zoo ….so summer days at the Zoo is like a given! A little tip when taking that trip the earlier the better. Lions and Tigers and bears oh my don’t care much for putting on a show during the HOT HEAT of the day. Now if you want a little Adult Fun check out the Zoo’s Adult ONLY 21+ Zoo Nights

Red Panda Sleeping Red Panda Asleep on Tree

  1. Bluebird Gap Farm … one of my daughters favorites when she was little! This little farm in Hampton offers a farm experience right in the middle of the City.


  1. Kayaking at the Lesner Bridge…. Dust that Kayak off and head over to the Lesner Bridge to experience the beauty of the Lynnhaven River. The wildlife, the water, the beauty! For a short day or long day on the water the ease of getting out to experience the beauty of the Coastal area this spot is great for a beautiful day  or hour on the water.


  1. The Dismal Swamp Trail… now this you can walk, run or kayak! Not gonna lie the dismal black water in a kayak is by far my most favorite way to experience this one. The tree lined black water tranquility is a moment everyone should take in as well as the history.


  1. Norfolk Mermaid Scavenger Hunt …. Now this one will keep you busy all summer long and cross the entire area. (Secret TIP Not all mermaids live in Norfolk). The Norfolk Mermaids have been celebrated for over 20 years. They started with 130 but have grown in popularity! I even know where a secret mermaid hides out at a private residence! Set aside to visit 1 a week and mark them off your list!


  1. Love Signs … can you find them all in Hampton Roads? Total there are over 275 love signs in the State of Virginia. The Virginia is for Lovers campaign dates back to 1969! And now you can take your own Virginia Love Pictures with signs all over the state but can you find all the ones in Hampton Roads? 

DSC_0546-2-2Labrador Retriever at Love Sign Chesapeake, Virginia Love Sign, Virginia is for Lovers, Labrador in Chesapeake, Va.

  1. Now after all this moving and on -the -go for the Summer you need a break and reward …so check out The Sweet Spot on Atlantic Ave. This adorable ice cream shop is more than just an ice cream shop, it’s a full experience! The ambiance flows right out the pinkalicious door to the sidewalk! This one is a perfect Selfie Moment with your absolutely delicious ice cream creation!


So while these moments may not skydive you out of a plane at 10,000 feet in the air ....it’s the little moments that make life BIG! So go Little to make life BIG!


As always You Make ME Happy When YOU Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise !

Want to capture some of the small moments? Let's Chat!


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Brand photographer Branding Specialist bucket list Chesapeake Photographer childhood clients coastal Virginia family happiness life life's moments memories moments nature photography photo Photographer photography summer summer series https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/6/summer-bucket-list-whats-on-your-list-here-s-10-things-to-check-out-in-coastal-virginia Mon, 21 Jun 2021 19:00:00 GMT
Summer Photography Series for All Ages https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/6/summer-photography-series-for-all-ages Today is National Nature Photography Day so what better start to the Summer Photography Series! Summer is a great time to photograph nature. Capturing the beauty of outdoors is also quite peaceful.  For the Summer Photography Series I will focus on some fun photography that you can create your own Summer Memories with. This series can keep the kids busy and even create a few Rainy Day Activities but it’s actually good for all ages. So grab your camera or cell phone and let’s get started.

Coastal Virginia offers so many opportunities from amazing Sunsets, eastern wildlife, to beautiful flowers and insects. We will take a few parts of Nature to focus on that will bring a smile to your eyes (yes your eyes do smile) and memories of the beautiful outdoors!

  1. It’s a BUGS Life….. so I am not the biggest bug fan BUT I do have a few bugs that I love to capture. Probably because I love flowers and so do these bugs. Bees, Butterflies and Dragonflies oh my…. Now of course be careful when dealing with any type of stingy bug but don’t dismiss them entirely. Take a look at our beautiful bees legs…. You can see the pollen piled on! How cool is that! *** Pro Tip…. Did your know your cell phone is actually like a wide angle macro lens so you can get in nice and close to those beautiful bugs. Norfolk Botanical Gardens is a great place to visit and capture those creepy crawlies! 

DSC_0373-4Butterfly with Broken WingButterfly with Broken Wing DSC_3138Bee on SunflowerBee Pollen Sunflower & Blue Sky











Did you know that Nature Photography actually improves your overall mental health. It improves your mood, agility, and concentration. Having a bad day? Grab that camera and head out to capture nature.

DSC_8619DragonflyDragonfly with Pink Flower


  1. In Your Own Backyard…. whether it’s your trees, flowers, wildlife, or landscape. Get to know your own backyard. Plants and wildlife in your yard are vital to the ecosystem and that whole Circle of Life saying. Take the time to photograph and even log the different plant and animal species.  *** Pro Tip…. Crop don’t Zoom! When photographing your pictures crop in post production( meaning after you take the picture). Take a look at that deer… she was actually in a field and more than 400 feet away. IMG_7640Deer in the wildDeer in Field


  1. Summer Scavenger Hunt…. Want to have a little fun this summer with your photography? Make a summer scavenger list of what you want to capture to create a summer of fun. The list can include, a sunset, the beach, a squirrel, a deer, and on and on. Once you capture the list you can create a collection of Wildlife, Landscapes, Insects, Flowers, Trees,  etc…..  ***Pro Tip… If using your cell phone Organize your photography scavenger hunt list by creating a folder to send the images. Then if you decide to make a memory book or want to look back to see your progress, they are all in one place.


DSC_7138Chesapeake, VirginiaChesapeake, Virginia Greenbrier Country Club

All Summer long check out our Blog for more Summer Photography Fun, Rainy Day Photography Activities and Photography Fun for the Entire Family! Then take your pictures over to our  When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise "In Focus" Private Group and share your photos with the group. If you haven’t joined yet send a request to join.

DSC_0271-3Sunset in Virginia BeachSunset, Chesapeake Bridge Tunnel

As always you make me happy when you choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise !


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) bucket list Chesapeake Photographer childhood family happiness life life's moments memories nature nature photography photo Photographer photography summer summer series https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/6/summer-photography-series-for-all-ages Tue, 15 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Great Trails & Parks to enjoy in Coastal Virginia https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/6/great-trails-parks-to-enjoy-in-coastal-virginia Let's Hit the Trails!

The first Saturday in June celebrates National Trails Day. It's time to get out and enjoy the Summer temperatures! Whether you are traveling to Coastal Virginia for vacation or live here all year the area offers great trails and experiences for the entire family. The cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake & Norfolk offer great opportunities for easy family friendly trails to explore nature, see wildlife and capture great pictures to remember the moment. Some offer a unique opportunity to visit the trails and ocean all in one. Since June is National Great Outdoors Month a great way to get out is on the trails that everyone from the dog to the grandparents can enjoy! So let's take a stroll thru a view of what Coastal Virginia has to offer.

1. Pleasure House Point In Virginia Beach 

Talk about the best of both worlds. Here you get the trails with all the trees and brush, it's not too long and an easy trail for all ages and dogs. Plus, you get the beautiful view of the Lynnhaven River. It's 118 acres of tidal marsh, sandy shores and maritime forest and a highlight of beauty for photography.

DSC_7882Pleasure House Point, Virginia Beach, Va. Sandy Trails DSC_7859Sandy Shores of Pleasure House Point, Lynnhaven River Sandy Shores Trails of Virginia Beach
DSC_7889Pleasure House Point, Virginia Beach, Va. The Maritime Forest

Take DSC_7875Prickly Pear Eastern Prickly Pear Plant in Coastal Virginia Caution.... as with anywhere is nature be careful. Make sure to stay on the trails and wear proper shoes to avoid prickly surprises from the natural foliage. 

If you want to up the trails and have an Ocean View check out False Cape State Park.







2. Heading inland a little brings you to a pleasant family friendly trail thru Oak Grove Lake Park in Chesapeake, Virginia. Here you have a 1.5 mile circular wide trail with 65 acres of forest and wetlands. The path is large and extremely family friendly... well except you pass the playground immediately coming in which can be a struggle to get the little ones off of before hitting the trail. The trees offer wonderful shade along the path on hot summer days. The park is dog friendly for pets on a leash. Be ready for some wildlife adventures in this wooded and wetland environment. Want to have a little fun make play a game of I Spy or Go on an adventure or Play Nature Bingo to add a little more to this fun trail. If you are visiting or live in Chesapeake be sure to check out Chesapeake Arboretum for another short family styled trail.  DSC_2686Eastern Box Turtle at Oak Grove Lake Park The land turtle is native to the eastern part of the United States.
DSC_7901-2Brown Dog Tick Brown Dog Tick


Take Caution... as always when in nature be sure to protect against Ticks after taking to the trails. Always check yourself, your children and pets after trips to the trails. 





3. Now off to the city styled trail in Norfolk, Virginia. The Elizabeth River Trail takes you on over 10 miles total but you can pick and choose your choice of path and break it up. The Freemason Portion offers a waterfront area, views of the Battleship Wisconsin and Pagoda Gardens all with a family friendly path and ability to break up the total distance. A must is stopping by the Coy Fish Pond to feed the fish (bring some quarters).

DSC_0085-19Elizabeth River Trail, Freemason The Freemason District of the Elizabeth River Trail So Coastal Virginias' Beauty comes in all varieties.... from the sea to the suburbs to the city all within 30 minutes of each other! If you are a resident be sure to check out your own backyard and if you are a visitor WELCOME! 

DSC_7877Dog Friendly Trails in Virginia Beach Trails of Sandy Pleasure House Point in Virginia Beach, Virginia

Don't forget the dog either! Coastal Virginia offers many dog friendly places. Keep an eye out for our upcoming Blog Dog Friendly In Coastal Virginia!


As always " YOU make me HAPPY when you choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise

If you are looking to capture your family moments, Senior Memories or Branding You & Your Business Schedule a Session for one of these great Virginia locations. 

whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Brand photographer Branding Specialist Chesapeake childhood clients dog dog friendly family happiness life life's moments memories moments national trails day Parks pet photo Photographer photography trails Trips Vacation Virginia Virginia Blogger Visit https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/6/great-trails-parks-to-enjoy-in-coastal-virginia Sat, 05 Jun 2021 12:00:00 GMT
You & Your Social Profile ..... How to brand yourself to compliment your Marketing Plan https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/5/you-your-website-how-to-brand-yourself-to-compliment-your-website Branding .... what is it? why are people doing it? and how does it affect my business? 

So Why photography? A photo brings you back to a moment and brings all the senses of that moment to you.  DSC_0028Yummy Dessert TreatsDecadent Ice Cream Treat

Think of a photo of you & your family at an Amusement Park... you can almost smell the funnel cake………..taste the soft serve ice cream in a waffle cone... feel the heat & humidity of the July sun….. hear the roar of the roller coasters…… and see the joy in your families’ eyes. 

The photo of your memories works just the same for your clients and customers..... you want their senses engaged and the memory of you made when they see your marketing on your social profiles and marketing channels. 

I'm A Beautiful Butterfly

Now don’t you want to be that beautiful butterfly in your social profile.


Photography is crucial to marketing 

Your Social Profile is who you are online. 

A Headshot profile photo is a necessity & Branding assists your overall marketing plan thru your engagement.

No matter what marketing channels you choose to be a part of your marketing strategy, you will need Quality Photography and Digital Media to represent you and your brand.

Whether it’s LinkedIn, your personal or business Website, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, Clubhouse, Twitter, YouTube or Google Ads. 

DSC_1352Professional Headshot Professional Headshot Sessions

You need content photography and digital media.

The Photography & Digital Media you use tell your story. Potential clients and customers can imagine themselves in the moment with the product or service that you offer ,your digital media needs to compliment your brand, color palette and style. 

Think of the Dog Trainer,  they need their Social Profile to market their training and compliment their image. One image represents a dog learning to catch a treat, the other image taken from a different perspective shows a Vicious Dog, same image, same dog but the photographer crafts this image to accurately represent their clients intention for the marketing.  

So unless they say I can turn your vicious dog into that catching the treat dog the creation of the second image would not be the brand the Dog Trainer uses for their marketing strategy….. it’s all how your photography presents you.  Vince and AvaDog Trainer ImagePhotos and Digital Media Tell Your Story

So what is the difference between a Professional Headshot and Branding?

The difference between a Professional Headshot Session and a Branding Session

  • A headshot session

Usually head and shoulders only, a few different angles, you receive 2 high resolution images of your choice

Great for LinkedIn, professional biographies & profile photos. These are often in Studio and I schedule 20 minute sessions. Check out my 

Lunch Time Headshots to schedule an in studio professional headshot session

  • Branding session 

Creates a portfolio of images that present you and your brand for all your chosen marketing channels

Gallery includes headshots, candid images, action shots, your business tools, and detailed shots representing you your brand & business lifestyle

My Post (72)Branding PhotographyBranding Photography Supplies Months of Media for your Marketing Channels This will provide you with months of content for your marketing channels, social media and website. These sessions typically are scheduled on location, include props I supply or you supply to accompany your brand, your image and your marketing plan. Once you accomplish your Branding Session I can supply you will digital media to compliment your brand and even social media management from my team. 

Recently, Road2College, published information on College Graduates and when is the best time to begin your LinkedIn. They offer great information on beginning your Professional Social Profile while in College based on data analyst. Make sure when scheduling your college graduation photography session or your high school graduation photography session you have your photographer incorporate a headshot in your session to accomplish the start to your professional social profile. 


As always "YOU make ME HAPPY, when you choose, When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise" 

Connect with me  Contact InfoContact InfoConnect with me Scan My QR Code


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) Brand Brand Photographer Branding Branding Specialist Chesapeake digital media Graduates Headshots Marketing Marketing channels Marketing Plan Photographer photography Plan Professional Professional Branding profile Social Profile Virginia Photographer https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/5/you-your-website-how-to-brand-yourself-to-compliment-your-website Tue, 25 May 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Be Present? Observer versus Participant.... Why hire a photographer for your small event https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/5/be-present-observer-versus-participant-why-hire-a-photographer-for-your-small-event Have you ever been at your child's game and been snapping away at photos and at the end they say Hey Mom did you see me do.... and your eyes get big and you say ummmmm I think so.... I was watching I was taking pictures I just didn't see that. MOM Fail... well not really but in the moment of trying to capture the memory you are just observing it thru the lens. You can't cheer and yell well you can but then the pictures would be out of focus so you don't. So in the moment while we are there and present we are  observing the moment not participating. 

So while it may not be feasible to hire a professional photographer for every soccer game there are moments we all want captured that we often capture ourselves and become the observer of the event instead of a participant. 


Think back to your family photos at an Amusement Park or Beach Vacation.... there was always somebody missing... the picture taker. 

DSC_4785Family Beach Photo Virginia Beach, VirginiaFamily Beach Photography at Lynnhaven Pier in Virginia Beach

People often don't think about hiring a Professional Photographer for birthday's but think about the party and the pressure that would be lifted off of you if you weren't trying to make the memory with photos and were actually in the photo?

As the photographer in my family I am usually the one left out ....I'm not sure who created the selfie but it was probably a photographer wanting to prove they were in their moment.    Sometimes we get quite creative to show we were there....

take a look into those glasses and you'll find the photographer in the moment! Apple Picking Apple Picking Reflection of a Photographer

As a participant you aren't just captured in the memories you also are emotionally involved. An observer is processing the moment from a distance so actually it's not just about being in the photo. You want the moment to be a memory but you also want to be emotionally involved in the moment. Paired together, the photo and the emotion, the memory takes that everlasting form so to have both it's time to hire the observer to capture all the participants to create the everlasting memory and capture the emotions. 

Now the benefit of a professional photographer is while they are observing your families event they capture the emotion. They seek out the moment thru their lens and tell the story. The photo story-telling accompanies the emotions the participants have and creates the emotional memories of our lives. That's the significance of valuing the photojournalism of your story ... your life... your moments... and your memories by hiring the photographer for those moments like Weddings and Family Photo Sessions but don't forget the other life moments like Strawberry Field Sessions, Sunflower Field Picking, birthday parties, Prom Night, Graduation Parties, Birth of Your Children, Family Homecomings and so many more small events that you end up as the observer in your own moment.  Birthday Party  during CovidBirthday Party during CovidChildren Birthday Memories during Covid-19


So, when you are planning an event and thinking of what you want for your memories think to yourself do I want to be a participant or will I be an observer? If you want to be a participant then it is time to look up your favorite photographer, fill out their Client Questionnaire of what you want captured, and let them create and craft the memories with their expertise and you engage in the moment, experience the emotions, and enjoy the memories.

As always You Make Me Happy When You Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) "Virginia photographer" beach birthdays Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer childhood clients event photography family farms happiness life life's moments memories moments photo photography sunflowers https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/5/be-present-observer-versus-participant-why-hire-a-photographer-for-your-small-event Thu, 06 May 2021 17:29:55 GMT
What's In A Name? https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/4/whats-in-a-name It's National Tell ~ A ~ Story Day.... so who wants to hear a story? 

A long long time ago in a land not so far away.... okay so maybe not that kind of story. But how about What's in my businesses name? Don't go... keep reading I promise it's a little funny and a lot meaningful. 

So every night from the birth of my first daughter I sang to her ...." You are my Sunshine" . Let me take you thru the lyrics just a little further. "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

                         You make me happy WHEN SKIES ARE GREY"

                                                                              END OF STORY! .......

Nooooo anyone who knows me knows I have way more to say than that! 

When she was about 2 years old I even learned the second verse which wasn't quite as lullaby oriented. The next five years every night I sang the same song to my daughter to soothe her to sleep all the way thru that second verse. It did the trick every night off to sleep she would go and even when she visited her grandparents they would sing "her song." At 7 years old she was SUPER excited she was becoming the BIG SISTER. She wanted a baby sister so badly and finally the day arrived.

Over the next couple of months the novelty of Big Sister wore off a bit and just like many new siblings bring change her new little sister brought a big change! That beloved lullaby that she loved so very much that lulled her to sleep drove her new little sister to uncontrollable crying, crocodile tears and nothing close to lulled to sleep. It took a few months to realize that the song I was singing to my first child that sent into a peaceful sleep had my second child keeping us all awake with uncontrollable crying. Well what I thought was uncontrollable except when I would stop singing she would stop crying. So once I realized the tears were connected to the song my oldest lost her beloved lullaby every night. Pretty sure the song wasn't the problem it just signaled to my newborn it was time to sleep and she didn't like sleeping! Often I would try the song out and even still today she has an aversion to the song because to her it means it's time for bed! The irony was her first year of ballet her recital piece was ballet to the song " You are my Sunshine." What a testimony to every child being different. One element that is perfect for one person may not be perfect for the other. 


As a photographer, I personalize and tailor each project to the Client. Your client questionnaire gives me the opportunity to suggest locations and customize your experience. Just as my daughters needed two different lullaby's every client needs a personalized touch to their session. So if you say you love nature and have a woodsy feel my recommendation for your family session may be Chesapeake Arboretum DSC_2750Chesapeake Arboretum Family Photos at Chesapeake Arboretum


If your Graduating Senior loves the City Vibe I may suggest the Neon District. The goal will always be to make the experience the most I can for my clients. 

DSC_6618Norfolk Neon DistrictNorfolk Neon District

So now you ask Why When Skies Are Grey? Why not the song title "You Are My Sunshine"?  That gets into the technical aspect of photography while everyone thinks the best day to take a photo is when the sun is shining brightly it's actually on a cloudy day. When the skies are grey you don't end up with harsh shadows on your subjects. Light is the basic element of photography and the importance of proper lighting is an entire Blog alone! So we won't dive deep into the aspects of lighting but if you are naming a photography business based on the significance of the song "You are my Sunshine"... the "When Skies Are Grey" is a much better fit for the name. 


Now for the gushy mushy side of your photographer! The final element in the Tell A Story of What's In A Name for When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise. The "You Make Me Happy" part.... remember the lyrics. 


                                                                          "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine.

                                                                           You make me happy WHEN SKIES ARE GREY"

When you may be feeling grey... when you are lacking cheer and brightness... what is your "You Make Me Happy" often its' a photograph. A photograph lifts your cheer and creates a happy emotion with just one look. It can transform you to the moment and bring the happiness from that moment in time. So capturing the moment to create and craft your forever memories to give you the "You Make Me Happy" moment is what makes me happy!


There you have it the Story of the Name....

The Song represents a family memory

The Lyrics explain the aspects and elements of photography... lighting as the element and making you happy as the aspect. 


So Now When You Read 

          "You Make Me Happy When You Choose When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise" You Now Know the Story! 



whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) "tell a story day" "Virginia photographer" Chesapeake Chesapeake Photographer Childhood clients happiness life maker memories memory moments personal photo photographer photography photos pictures taker https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/4/whats-in-a-name Tue, 27 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
When they started Kindergarten did you think? https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/4/when-they-started-kindergarten-did-you-think Today April 21, 2021 is National Kindergarten Day... when you think back to your first day of school do you remember how long Summer Vacation seemed to be? The same 90 days now flies by but each Summer day when you were 5 years old seemed to last an eternity.  Kindergarten Graduate Kindergarten GraduateKindergarten Graduation Cap & Gown

What about those first day of school bus stop photos! We all remember those cheesy smiles or maybe even a face of tears but either emotion we all can feel when we take a look at those snapshots. 


And then the moment comes that the Kindergartener is now the GRADUATE! How did all that time pass? This is a major milestone and with the current Seniors of 2021 their story has the variance and a not so familiarity of those of 2 years ago. So just as with the first conception Friedrich Frobel's brought in Kindergarten to encourage children to express creativity, fuel curiosity, and foster independence our 2021 Graduates are creating their own sense of memories outside of the box, similar to the unprecedented Graduates of 2020. The moments are the same accomplishment but the memories will look different. Capturing those memories are even more important to cultivate their creativity and value the changes they endured. 


What's in a Senior Photo Session anyway? Why should you even do one if there will be no big event as in years past? Even some people think well maybe I shouldn't even buy a Cap & Gown? The moment may not look the same but the memories you capture in those priceless photos will create the forever memory. Your Senior Photo Session captures your personality, maybe a favorite location, the city vibe, beach, a country field, a beloved pet or your awesome car that has it's own name! Whatever your personality is show it!  DSC_6576City Portrait Session Neon District City Portrait Session


So even more now it is important to have that tailored personalized Senior Portrait Session to commemorate your memories and value the accomplishment. Eighteen years ago your vision of the day may of looked different but the milestone is still the same. So order that Cap & Gown, Schedule that Portrait Session, get a commemorative shirt, order that extra Tassel to hang in your car window. And for that Preschool Grad or Kindergarten Grad that isn't having the same year that Senior had 18 years ago make their new memories too. Get their Cap & Gown portraits to have at their Graduation Party in 18 years. That's the value of a photo, it captures that moment and creates the memory. 

Whether it's signs in the front yard, a drive party Grad Party or a small gathering in the back yard HAVE THE CELEBRATION! Do the DIY Prom, Take the Pictures, Eat the Cake.... okay so that's just because I love cake! But make the memories bigger and better.  Don't forget the 2021 College Grads as they are finalizing their college memories in an unprecedented time make sure to capture their photos on campus, grab the mask and get out there and take the photos.  DSC_0140Graduate Graduate with Mask On





Decorate the cap even if the only place you will throw it is the backyard. 

Cap & GownCollege Graduate On Campus College Graduate Portrait Session






So now for the 2022 Graduate it is time to schedule your Senior Portrait sessions and don't forget your upcoming Kindergarteners for 2022, Schedule that Back to School session for August to commemorate their memories. Whatever our moments are a photograph will lock that moment into memory. It freezes time for you! 


Do you know a 2022 Graduate that would like to be part of our 2022 Senior Influencer Team? If so send them to our Senior Influencer Team Interview 

You Make Me Happy for Choosing When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise!

whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) capture childhood college high school Kindergarten memories moments national kindergarten day photography senior seniors https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/4/when-they-started-kindergarten-did-you-think Wed, 21 Apr 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Pet Photos Tips & Tricks for National Pet Day https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/4/pet-photos-tips-tricks-for-national-pet-day Anyone who knows me knows I LOVE ANIMALS... well the furry variety... the dogs, cats, bunnies not so much the snakes although what some people may not know is even though I am immensely terrified many years ago I did have a snake that lived in my house and was a pet. I guess building trust in him made me eventually not afraid of him and he was the exception to my extreme fear of snakes! 


So with today being National Pet Day I thought it’s a pur-fect day to give some tips and tricks to capturing those wonderfully focused pet photos. Let me first say Vince is a professional model ... lol ... honestly he is amazing and lucky for me will do anything for a treat so it’s easy work for me to grab that spectacular photo of him! 

Black Labrador Vince .... Black Labrador Just look at those eyes!


Actually photos of pets are an excellent training experience for a pet ... except a cat ... that’s more of a training for you when working with cats!  Cat napGrey Tabby Cat Just relaxing after my cat nap!


So let’s get started

  1.  Have treats! Training treats work best. They are small and don’t make a mess so they will not leave debris in your photo. Buckley Training Treats are on my favorites. They are small enough even for the little dogs at the shelter and can be found at local  TJ MAxx and on Amazon
  2. If you have someone with you have them hold the treat just above your phone or camera or just below. You want the eyes looking at your phone or camera so don’t have the person off to the side. Then that’s where your pets attention will be. (For cats or dogs that aren’t treat driven you can have a toy and cats love a good laser light show!).  If you are alone just hold your treat right above your phone even sitting it right on the top of the phone can work if it’s a Buckley trainer treat like I mentioned before. 
  3. Get some tools! iTrainer Is a free training app but it also works great for getting that wonderful head tilt! Squeak squeak quack quack or meow meow there are over 15 different sounds to use. It’s paw-some! There are other apps available but this one just happens to be my favorite! 
  4. So you have the attention getters now just a couple of techniques to get those wonderfully focused images of your lovable pet. Focus on the eyes! On your phone use the little focus box to focus on the eye. With a camera do the same! Try not to use auto focus. Make sure your focal point is set to their eyes. Why you ask? Especially with dogs their nose is set ahead of their face which deals with depth of field. That’s a separate photograph lesson for another day! But for your pet photos you want the focal point to be their eyes šŸ‘€ pulling you in and make you just wanna say muah! I love that face!  A060264-1Floral Collar for Dog A pretty pittie pit in a floral coollar
  5. Also don’t Zoom! You can Zoom on your computer for work or with friends but try not to Zoom your phone photos especially! Zooming loses clarity. If you have taken any of my Photography Courses you know NO ZOOM! Cropping is better so if you want to narrow the frame take the photo as is and crop out what you want out of the image. 

Okay so now you are geared with a few treats, a toy, a phone and a pet GO TAKE SOME PHOTOS and share your pet love on When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise Facebook Page   Also request to join our In Focus Private Client Group for specials, promotions and more Tips and Tricks and share your National Pet Day Photos there too! When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise "In Focus" Private Client Group


Check out some of the Mosaic Images & Pet Items available at When Skies Are Grey DesignsA portion of your purchase for Mosaic Images will be donated to Friends of Norfolk Animal Care Center. 


Want a special blog topic sometime? Send me an email and let me get your ideas of what you would like to hear about! If you have any questions please contact me at whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com 


DSC_2224-2-2Any Questions?Raise your paw if you have any questions? DSC_0207Ava's 3rd BirthdaySpecial Occasion Photos for Dogs

If you have an upcoming special occasion for your pets Schedule a Pet Portrait Session. 

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Preparing For Your Families Spring Photography Session~ 3 Steps to Magical Photos https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/3/preparing-for-your-families-session-3-steps-to-magical-sessions Let me take you thru 3 Easy Steps to Prepare for your Spring Portrait Session


1. Arrive 5-10 minutes early... this gives you plenty of time for last minute issues that may arise. 

No need to be too early you want everyone to be fresh and ready.


2. What to Wear.....this can be really stressful for some but DON'T STRESS! When picking out outfits,

pick out the outfit for the most difficult person to dress first & then plan everyone else's outfit around theirs. 

Plan like it one person's outfit.

Too many patterns can be too busy for the eyes but still let it be an expression of YOUR FAMILY!

Check out my Color Palette guide to help you style your family. 

For extended large family sessions dress each family group in their own color or color palette. 

If you have any questions or need guidance that's what I am here for please ask!


3. Don't stress...

laughing+ loving+ calm = BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS!

Not every beautiful photo is cheesy smiles...

in fact the ones that are often the most touching are those natural looks. 

So don't point at the camera to get your little one looking then all we have are fingers pointing!


Sleph FamilyFamily Photo Black and White Photography

I may have a little pocket of treats to hand out to age appropriate children

but if you prefer me not to, just let me know. 

Remember if you are not in the picture and are helping to make the children smile or a pet look make sure to  stand nice and close to the camera .... right behind me is the best!

And don't leave the pets at home! If you want to include your pets, dogs or cats let's talk we can capture your family including the furry ones!

Playground SessionsPlayground SessionsNew Puppy Playground Fun


~Denise, When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise


Don't Forget to Like & Follow

 When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise Facebook Page & Instagram

for upcoming events and specials!

whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) childhood couples photos dog photos family family photos happiness life life's moments memories pets photo photo gallery Photographer photography portrait session steps for great family photos https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/3/preparing-for-your-families-session-3-steps-to-magical-sessions Tue, 30 Mar 2021 12:00:00 GMT
Black Lab Art Print https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/3/black-lab-art-print IMG_3115IMG_3115Digital Art Print

Black Labrador Art Print

whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) black dog eyes labrador pet https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2021/3/black-lab-art-print Fri, 05 Mar 2021 11:25:30 GMT
Why ...what does a photo give you? https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2019/3/why-what-does-a-photo-give-you A moment is brief and often forgotten. A memory is a moment that is recalled thru something that makes it stand out in your mind. Memories are captured in time with photography. That moment becomes a memory when you have a photo to remind you. So the answer to why a photograph is simply because there are moments in life that no matter what we want to have that recollection to remind us of What Makes Us Smile! Let me bring your sunshine to life with photographs to keepsake your moments!


whenskiesaregreyphotography@yahoo.com (When Skies Are Grey Photography by Denise) childhood family happiness life life's moments memories pets photography remembering when skies are grey you make me happy https://www.whenskiesaregreyphotographybydenise.com/blog/2019/3/why-what-does-a-photo-give-you Sat, 16 Mar 2019 16:33:03 GMT